Some possible causes of problems with water which appears dirty, has an unusual color, or sediment/particles include:
Sediments or pipe materials from breaks in water mains or hydrants. Water mains in the distribution system can fail due to age, corrosion, high pressure surges, or damage by construction work. Hydrants can also be broken off by vehicles.
High flows can occur in water mains due to fire fighting, water system tests, or maintenance. Unusual high-flow conditions can stir up sediment or scale from water mains.
Construction activities: the customer's service connection from the distribution main to the water meter is sometimes disturbed by construction activities of contractors or other utilities.
Aging galvanized plumbing: rust particles or scale from galvanized steel home plumbing can also produce reddish-brown water or rust particles, particularly noticeable when a tap is first turned on.
Since there are many causes of dirty water, the District investigates each complaint carefully. Please be prepared to answer the following questions when reporting this problem to 831.475.8500:
What is the location of the premises where the dirty water occurred?
When was the dirty water first detected?
What does the water look like? Does it have color?
Are both the cold and hot water dirty?
Is the water dirty at all faucets?
Are the particles large, small, or colored; does the water look milky or contain air?
Have you had plumbing work done recently on either hot or cold water lines?
The answers to these questions will assist us in finding the cause of the dirty water and may also suggest corrective steps to take. District Customer Service Representatives respond to calls regarding water which appears to be dirty, colored or has foreign particles, within one business day.
If your service was impacted by a water main break, please check out our Customer Flushing Guide to learn more about the steps you can take.